State opposes Thoshan Panday's bid to relax bail conditions so that he can go on UAE family holiday over festive season

BUSINESSMAN Thoshan Panday. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo

BUSINESSMAN Thoshan Panday. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo

Published Dec 12, 2023


THE State has opposed an application by Durban businessman Thoshan Panday to relax his bail conditions.

Panday had applied to the Durban High Court for permission to travel to the United Arab Emirates over December/January.

National Prosecuting Authority Investigating Directorate spokesperson Sindisiwe Seboka said the application was to have been heard on Monday, 11 December.

“However, Thoshan Panday's lawyer asked for a postponement in order to consider the State's submissions. So the matter was perused but not actually dealt with on the day. It was adjourned.”

Panday and eight others are facing charges of racketeering, fraud, corruption and money laundering in the R47 million World Cup tender scandal.

It is alleged by the State that Panday had been identified as the sole member of Goldcoast Trading CC, which was awarded orders worth about R47m for accommodation for police members deployed within KZN for the 2010 World Cup.

In his affidavit, Colonel Phillip Herbst, who is part of the investigating team, cited a number of reasons why bail conditions should not be relaxed.

He said Panday had not truthfully disclosed his previous travels, or a previous application to relax bail conditions.

Herbst questioned submission’s that Panday’s son would foot the bill for the overseas family holiday, despite his son being listed as being “entirely” dependent on Panday.

“If (he) is entirely dependent on the applicant, it is difficult to understand how he would have the means to finance a family holiday.”

Herbst said Panday was not truthful about his previous travels and assets.

On Panday’s previous application to travel, he said: “The applicant had stated that his previous applications were not opposed and that his first application for relaxation of bail conditions was on March 24, 2022. This is not correct. The applicant’s first application was at the end of 2021.

“The initial application … was opposed by the State as the investigation team had discovered that the applicant had been issued with two passport numbers … the applicant has misled the Court and the State as to the whereabouts of his passport … as well as his actual travel during December 2022 and January 2023, which was not in accordance with the (bail) order made by this Honourable Court on October 10, 2022,” said Herbst.

To this end, Herbst said, evidence from the SA Reserve Bank showed that Panday and his former wife had used a number of his and her cards to pay for different travel services in the US from December 17, 2022, to January 2, 2023 ‒ travel that would have contravened the bail conditions.

Herbst also questioned Panday’s submissions regarding his assets.

Herbst said Panday had a company registered in his name from October 20, 2023, listing him as the director, and which was used to buy a Ferrari 296 GTB for R7 954 923.

“The applicant only changed the ownership on December 1, 2023 after he became aware that the State knew about the ownership.

“The applicant ordered the Ferrari 296 GTB and conducted all of the negotiations. The applicant took possession of the Ferrari 296 GTB on November 3, 2023. Payment for the Ferrari 296 GTB was made by several entities that are not registered to the applicant. From information received, the applicant has ordered another Ferrari, Ferrari SF90, which costs between R13 795 000 and R14 999 999. None of these purchases were disclosed to the curator or the Court,” said Herbst.

Herbst added: “... the applicant had reason to remain in this country prior to the restraint order being served. The question is, would a person in the applicant’s situation elect to return to South Africa and face the criminal case and upon conviction, face a jail sentence and a confiscation enquiry followed by a confiscation order, or would he elect to flee justice and live off assets he has not disclosed and has access to?”

Herbst added that on November 30, 2023, Panday contacted a State witness and enquired if the witness had divulged that he had registered a company.

“He may not have known that the witness was a State witness at the time, but this has caused the witness and colleagues to be concerned. Good faith is expected in the issue of bail determination. Hence the law expects him to truthfully disclose pertinent aspects that may affect the Court’s discretion. It is respectfully submitted that this Honourable Court ought not to accede to the application of the applicant, said Herbst.

Kershnie Govender, Panday’s legal representative, declined to comment.

Details in The POST print edition tomorrow, December 13.